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Past Events: 2018-2019

Fall 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
IVJF Lunch Discussion — Lived Catholicism: An Indian Experience — Rev. Lawrence Fernandes, S.J., International Visiting Jesuit Fellow, draws on field-based study in Karnataka, India exploring the religious practices shaped by multi-religious culture and traditions of India and exhibits features that are practical, need-based and sensory. 

175th Anniversary Event
Monday, September 17, 2018
The Holy Cross: Symbol of Victory and Sign of Salvation — Robin Jensen, Endowed Professor and the Patrick O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, explores some of the reasons for the late emergence of the cross and crucifix, discusses the earliest examples, and finally shows how the image of the Holy Cross has historically had a wide range of meanings, including a sign of Christ’s Second Coming, a symbol of divine love, and the primordial tree of life. Jensen is author of “The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy” (Harvard University Press, 2017). One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
IVJF Lunch Discussion — Vatican Media: the Voice of the Good News in the Contemporary Multicultural World — Rev. Leszek Gęsiak, S.J., an International Visiting Jesuit Fellow from the South Poland Province, shows how the Vatican media, which are the voice of the Holy Father, try to spread the message of the Gospel across multicultural, multireligious, and multilingual currents.

Thursday, September 20, 2018
Contemporary Global Antisemitism as the Rejection of the Other: Implications for Human Rights and Democratic Principles — Charles Asher Small, an expert scholar of antisemitism, is founding director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), and senior research scholar at the Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle East and African Studies, Tel Aviv University. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Film Screening: 'Forgetting Vietnam,' and Conversation with the Writer/Director — Trinh T. Minh-ha is a Vietnam-born composer, artist and author of some of the most profound works of essay filmmaking and literary theory of our age. Forgetting Vietnam explores the involvement of the USA in Vietnam, past and present, and the role of memory in cultural and religious dynamics. Co-sponsored with Asian Studies and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies.

Monday, October 15, 2018
Is China the New Roman Empire? Christian Growth in China and Global Implications — Fenggang Yang, professor of sociology and director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University, talks about the social and cultural factors for the Christian growth, why Protestantism grows faster than Catholicism, and the changing church-state relationship. He is author of “Atlas of Religion in China” (Brill, 2018). One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity, and part of the McFarland Center's initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Digital Disinformation: The Tools and Technologies Used to Spread Fake News and the Regulations that Can Treat It — Dipayan Ghosh, a fellow at New America and the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, was a technology and economic adviser to the Obama White House, and until recently, worked on privacy policy issues at Facebook. In this talk, he illustrates exactly how disinformation campaigns are happening over social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; how they challenge the American political process; and what public policies can be enforced to regulate against these harms in the future.

Thursday, October 25, 2018
Accounting for History: Race, Slavery, and Institutional Memory — A panel discussion featuring Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University, and Robert Patterson, associate professor and chair of African American Studies at Georgetown University, focuses on how institutions of higher learning reckon with their difficult histories, in particular in relation to enslavement and justice. Co-sponsored with Peace and Conflict Studies, History and Africana Studies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Holocaust Witness: Back to Basics — Alan Rosen, Kraft-Hiatt Scholar in Residence, will consider what one needs to know about the Holocaust, as well as about those who were caught up in it and have borne witness to it. He will also briefly reflect on some of the implications of witness to the evil of the Holocaust: religious, moral, pedagogic, and personal. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Betting on Sports: The Ethics and Economics of Legalized Sports Gambling — Rev. Richard McGowan, S.J., associate professor of economics at Boston College and treasurer of the Jesuits' Maryland Province, and Victor Matheson, professor of economics at Holy Cross, offer differing perspectives on how legalized gambling might affect sports, including college-level athletics, and individual and social well-being.

Thursday, November 15, 2018
Dolphins, Flourishing, and the Challenge of Interspecies Ethics — Thomas White ‘69, author of "In Defense of Dolphins: The New Moral Frontier” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), scientific advisor to the Wild Dolphin Project, and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, explores the conditions dolphins need in order to "flourish," the indefensibility of cetacean captivity, anthropocentrism, and weaknesses in the ways that scientists and philosophers typically approach ethical issues related to non-humans.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Finding the Essence of Christianity in Racial America — Willie Jennings, associate professor of systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale Divinity School, examines a crisis in the practice of Christianity and suggests how we might articulate the essence of Christianity for this moment. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

Spring 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019
The Rise and Fall of the Fact — Jill Lepore, the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and author of "These Truths: A History of the United States" (W.W. Norton & Company, 2018), focus on the origins of our epistemological crisis. The Thomas More Lecture on the Humanities.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Meeting Our Responsibility to Refugees at the Global, National and Local Levels — Denis McDonough, former White House chief of staff for the Obama administration, talks about refugees and related structural and legal issues.

Monday, February 11, 2019
Vocation of the Writer: Laura van den Berg — Laura van den Berg is author of the novels “The Third Hotel” and “Find M” and the story collections “What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us” and “The Isle of Youth.” Co-sponsored with Creative Writing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
The Holocaust on the Local Level: Coexistence and Genocide in one Galician Town — Omer Bartov, the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University and author of “Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz” (Simon & Schuster, 2018), explains how ethnic cleansing begins in seeming peace, slowly and often unnoticed, the culmination of pent-up slights and grudges and indignities. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
The Christian Invention of Human Dignity — Samuel Moyn, professor of law and history at Yale University, argues that human dignity has to be linked to the invention of Christian democracy. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Of Ancient Deities and Modern Gods: Making sense of the promises and pathologies of religion and faith in Africa — Drawing on his most recent book, “Religion and Faith in Africa: Confessions of an Animist” (Orbis, 2018), Rev.  Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar, offers a critical assessment of contemporary African religious experience and the tension between ancient and modern religious traditions. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Child Sexual Abuse: Breaking the Cycle — Maeve Lewis, executive director of One in Four Ireland, discusses the impact of child sexual abuse across the lifespan. She outlines a systemic attachment-based approach to psychotherapy with adult survivors and their families, and with sex offenders, situating the work within an Irish societal context.

Thursday, March 28, 2019
Church of Migrants and Migrant Church: Theology of the Church in the Age of Migration — Peter Phan is the inaugural holder of the Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. He is editor, with Elaine Padilla, of “Christianities in Migration: The Global Perspective,” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Monday, April 1, 2019
A New Curve in the Well-Known Color Line: Race, Respectability, and the Multi-Racial South — Derek Chang, associate professor of history at Cornell University, provides an overview of Asians in the Jim Crow South to illuminate the ways in which racial systems of power are linked to questions of class, cultural, and religious difference. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures for Religion and Modernity. Co-sponsored with Asian Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies.

Tuesday, April 2-Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Readings from the Roots: Bible Translation and Its Impact — This two-day conference highlights a new, historically-sensitive translation of the Revised Common Lectionary intended to reduce the potential for anti-Judaism by enriching Christianity through its roots in Judaism. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
More than Specks of Dust: Being Human in a Vast, Evolving Universe — In an informal lunchtime talk for the Holy Cross community, astrophysicist Jeff Hester, professor emeritus at Arizona State University, offers an insider’s narrative of the story of the universe — from its origins in the Big Bang through to the evolution of minds capable of pondering their place in the cosmos.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Is Theistic Belief Rational in a Scientific Age? —William Lane Craig, research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and professor of philosophy at Houston Baptist University, and Jeff Hester, professor emeritus in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, participate in a moderated dialogue on theism, atheism and science. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

Thursday, April 11, 2019
The Ethics of Affirmative Action Policies in Higher Education — Glenn Loury, Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and professor of economics at Brown University, is a prominent social critic and public intellectual, writing mainly on the themes of racial inequality and social policy.

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